Going to the pumpkin patch this year was a new experience for our family. I’m used to the cold and wet Pacific Northwest experience where you have mud caked on to the top and bottom of your boots and you’re soaking wet from all the rain. This year in Southern California it was in the 90’s and we wore shorts and a tank top. My son is now at an age where he understands what is going on so it’s pretty fun. He was very picky about his pumpkin selection and wouldn’t settle on one in the first 10-15 minutes. Instead he would go pick them all up and say, “no, not that one.” He would go for the biggest pumpkin and grunt trying with all his might to pick it up. My husband was ready to get out of the heat so he was encouraging our son to pick one out quickly. That didn’t seem to put a jump in his step. We told him he could pick out one pumpkin and we ended up with three. We couldn’t say no!
When we finally got home to the comfort of our AC, I decided to roast a pumpkin and make some pumpkin chili. Also, please forgive my lack of photos in this post. The first time I tested the recipe I didn’t take photos of the process because I didn’t know if it would turn out but it did. The second time I started the chili too late and it was too dark to take photos. I wasn’t sure how my husband would feel about pumpkin chili three weeks in a row and I did not to make you all wait a few more weeks for the recipe. You know you have extra Halloween pumpkins just waiting to be used for something like this Pumpkin Chicken Chili. I promise I will make the chili in a few weeks and update this post with pictures of the cooking process.
Aren’t his little pumpkins cute?!
So about this chili! I did roast my own pumpkin but you can use the already roasted and ready to buy on a store shelf kind. I also used a dark pumpkin beer, which adds a great depth of flavor to the chili. You can go without if you would like but just know the flavor won’t be quite as good. I used white beans and was in the mood for chicken (you could also use turkey in a few short weeks to use up some of those leftovers from Thanksgiving) in my chili instead of ground beef. I noticed that my chili looked darker even with the pumpkin so I added some large chopped carrots to the top of my chili when it first started cooking. I cooked the carrots until they were soft and added them with a little bit of broth to my Vitamix. Once they were pureed I added them back to the chili and it was a beautiful pumpkin color. My family is also getting more veggies which is awesome! I added a little heat with some chili flakes. Some smokey chipotle flavor would be good in this recipe too. I might just try that on my third try! Once the chili is cooked just serve it with my Easy Pickled Jalapenos, some sour cream, cheese of choice, and a few pumpkin seeds if desired!